BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                             SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                           Senator Ellen M. Corbett, Chair
                              2009-2010 Regular Session


          AB 2493 (Fuller)
          As Amended April 13, 2010
          Hearing Date: June 10, 2010
          Fiscal: No
          Urgency: No
          TW:jd
                    

                                        SUBJECT
                                           
                  Conservators:  Photograph of Missing Conservatee

                                      DESCRIPTION  

          This bill would require that, upon establishing a  
          conservatorship and each year thereafter, a conservator shall  
          maintain a photograph of the conservatee for identification  
          purposes.

                                      BACKGROUND  


          Hundreds of California residents suffering from Alzheimer's  
          disease and dementia go missing each year.  In 2006, Redlands  
          Police responded to more than 130 reports of missing adults,  
          roughly once every three days. At least one-quarter of those  
          were immediately considered "critical missing persons" as a  
          result of mental or medical conditions.  Many of them suffered  
          from "wandering syndrome" as a result of conditions such as  
          Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other medical or mental  
          conditions.  According to the Alzheimer's Association, six out  
          of 10 people with Alzheimer's disease will wander sometime  
          during the progression of the disease.  If they are not found  
          within 24 hours, half of those could suffer serious injury or  
          death.  (City of Redlands, Never Alone registry seeks to bring  
          citizens 'Safely Back Home', http://www.ci.redlands.  
          ca.us/police/never_alone.html, accessed May 18, 2010.)


          This bill, sponsored by the County of San Bernardino, is the  
          result of an incident in which a conservatee wandered away from  
                                                                (more)



          AB 2493 (Fuller)
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          home and went unidentified for several months because the  
          conservator did not have an identifying photograph of the  
          conservatee.  The conservatee was located in a neighboring  
          county.  This bill would require all conservators to maintain an  
          annual photograph of their conservatees for use if the  
          conservatees become missing.


                                CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
           
           Existing law  authorizes the establishment of a conservatorship  
          over an individual who is unable to provide properly for his or  
          her personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or  
          shelter.  (Prob. Code Sec. 1800 et seq.)

           Existing law  prescribes duties of the conservator.  (Prob. Code  
          Sec. 2350 et seq.)

           This bill  would add to the duties of a conservator the  
          requirement to maintain an annual photograph of the conservatee.

                                        COMMENT
           
          1.  Stated need for the bill  
          
          The author writes:
          
            In San Bernardino an unfortunate incident occurred in which a  
            Conservatee from a neighboring county turned up in San  
            Bernardino without any identification or the ability to  
            identify himself.  This bill would remedy this situation by  
            requiring conservators to take and maintain up to date  
            photographs of their conservatees.  Had this neighboring  
            County had a visual record of its conservatees they may have  
            been able to find and identify him much quicker.

          The sponsor states that this bill is necessary because  
          "[w]andering is a common problem for county public guardian  
          conservatees who suffer from Alzheimer's, dementia or a mental  
          disorder.  Conservatees may leave their care facilities and  
          disappear into the adjacent community or even into other  
          counties.  At that point, it can become very difficult to find  
          them.  Eventually, many wandering conservatees will come to the  
          attention of local law enforcement, who must then try to  
          identify the conservatees who often cannot provide their name or  
          other identifying information."
                                                                      



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          2.  Conservator should have identification readily available in  
            the event the conservatee goes missing  

          A conservator is appointed by the court when an individual is  
          unable to tend to his or her own personal needs.  These  
          individuals may suffer from Alzheimer's disease and/or dementia,  
          which increase the potential for the individual to unknowingly  
          wander away from home.  According to the author, an individual  
          suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia may not know  
          their own name or address and also may be at risk of missing  
          life-sustaining medications.  When this occurs, the conservator  
          should be able to supply the police with a recent photograph to  
          assist in locating the individual.  This bill would make it  
          easier for police to locate the missing conservatee by requiring  
          conservators to obtain a photograph of the conservatee once the  
          conservatorship has been established and annually thereafter.
           Support  :  None Known

           Opposition  :  None Known

                                        HISTORY
           
           Source  :  County of San Bernardino

           Related Pending Legislation  :  None Known

           Prior Legislation  :  None Known

          Prior Vote  :

          Assembly Judiciary Committee (Ayes 9, Noes 0)
          Assembly Floor (Ayes 73, Noes 0)

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